BATON ROUGE — The Court Appointed Special Advocate group is accepting applications for its training course in East Baton Rouge Parish, which begins June 11. CASA is seeking caring adults — especially men and African Americans — to become advocates for abused and neglected children in East Baton Rouge Parish, a news release said.

The training course prepares volunteers to be the best advocates with a three week, 32-hour curriculum that covers topics such as the well-being of the child; trauma, resilience and communication skills; mental health; poverty and professional communication; and substance abuse and cultural competence to name a few.

No special background is required to become a CASA volunteer. The first step is to attend a 45-minute orientation session at the CASA office, 848 Louisiana Ave. Upcoming orientation dates include 5 p.m. May 28; and 9 a.m. May 30.

CASA volunteers do not provide legal representation, nor do they replace social workers. They help provide information to the court and resources to the children. They are an independent voice speaking solely for the best interests of the child. The volunteer may be the only consistent adult in their lives during this time, the release said.

To learn about CASA or to RSVP for an orientation visit or call (225) 379-8598.